Researchers look into best ways to prevent colds

The CNN “The Chart” blog reports that research published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests that “hand washing and possibly taking zinc seem to be the best ways to avoid getting sick.”

Researchers looked at data from “67 randomized controlled trials that showed hand washing as well as alcohol disinfectants are the best ways to ward off colds.”

The article points out that “zinc was found to work mostly in children, with two trials showing that little ones who took 10 to 12 milligrams of zinc sulfate every day had fewer colds and fewer absences from school because of colds.”

On its website, CBS News reports that the researchers found that “gargling with water for 15 seconds, three times per day was shown to help in one study, but researchers said a second study should confirm this before it is recommended for cold prevention.”

Meanwhile, “Ginseng was deemed ‘questionable’ for preventing colds based on the available” research.

The investigators found “no meaningful benefits towards prevention … for average patients taking vitamin C, vitamin D and echinacea.”

HealthDay also covers the story.